You have been there with your son for almost four months now. You never went home even for Christmas or for New Year’s, you were just there by his side. Every meal, you would put all untouched meals into plastic containers and bring them to the next building, where patients’ “watchers” don’t have food. You also look after the patient beside your son’s, since his family is never there. You were the helpdesk person who newbies would run to for information. Your family was evicted from your apartment because of rumors about your son having AIDS. You don’t know where your family’s new house is, you’re just there—beside your son. You would cry outside the ward when you talk about the eviction, but you would be strong and happy in front of your son when inside the ward.
Your son has been there for a few days and I was busy running from one ward to another. You were just there at the hallway looking at me but I was preoccupied with the patients wanting assistance. Across your ward were three patients about to be discharged and I was also talking to the only patient left there. I can see you looking at me from the door. Finally you walked over to me, asked for help. We went to your son, he was weak, he barely talked. He needed blood and luckily, one of the patients about to be discharged had a bag of blood at the laboratory. But they’re selling it. I didn’t have enough cash with me since the money intended for some patients were already distributed. I ran over to the car, searched my bag, looked under the seats, in the compartment. I gathered enough to buy the bag of blood. Your eyes showed at least six decades of existence, and hardship. You were thankful. A couple of days ago, we got news that your son died. He wanted to rest, and he wanted YOU to go home..
It was December 2015 when your daughter got my number from my blog asking for assistance. We got through his testing center and verified that he was indeed waiting for confirmatory. The family decided to confine your son to a private hospital where you would have been charged more than a hundred thousand pesos two weeks later, and then you eventually transferred to where I finally met you. Destiny, I thought. As your daughter stopped responding towards the end of December and there we were, in ward 10. Your son’s tummy was bloated for reasons unknown up until now. You talked about having been evicted from the apartment like Mommy C. You talked about the expenses, but you also talked about how committed you were to see your son through these hard times.
You reared your sons through years of love and guidance. Up until this moment, your love for them never faded. You had poverty punching you left and right but you never left your sons’ sides. You struggled with each struggle your sons make. You hope against each white flag your sons raise. You wipe the sweats off of your kids’ forehead amidst the humid ward. You remained the mothers your sons had always known you to be.
You have my undying respect. I salute you.